I have had the great opportunity to interview several guilds that are a part of the Star Wars: The Old Republic community. This week is no exception as I had the chance to meet and get to know the guild Methodical. They are a mature guild that likes to balance gameplay with real life. Many guilds like to take this approach, the difference with Methodical is they are a very focused and dedicated progression guild. Yes, several guild talk progression, but Methodical is one of the guilds that truly backs it up with their kill list and not just clearing Operations they also go after each level of difficulty and timed runs. Do they focus on the hardcore side of SWTOR…yes, but they do keep the attitudes in check and work on enjoying the game and taking it to a very high level.
More about Methodical’s balancing act between progression & real life after the Jump…
Before we get into the interview, I wanted to point out some of the things Methodical is doing in the community to try and help generate ideas for making SWTOR even better game. The following links are two really good threads started by members of Methodical. The first link is dealing with things they have found to be issues or would like to see changed in Operations. This thread shows the degree at which they approach Operations. The next link is their take and ideas on possible ways of including more achievements, titles, etc. to the existing codex. It is also a good read for seeing opinions on something the community seems to want. They love the game and are generating thought provoking forum threads to hopefully bring items to the attention of developers. On a side-note, for those of you wanting to state a problem or even a change you would like to see in the game, these are good examples of how you go about writing a detailed and well thought out forum post. Now let’s get into the interview with Methodical.
- Guild Q&A
How did Methodical get its start bas a guild? Is SWTOR the only game the guild is playing?
Our guild was started pre-launch by a group of players who were looking for a home in SWTOR. We all had high-level experience in previous games and were looking for other SWTOR fans who wanted to create a guild for experienced and talented players who desired a light raid schedule and a respectful, adult atmosphere.
Right now we are starting to branch out to games other than SWTOR. We have people playing Diablo 3, Tera, World of Warcraft, and there is interest in Guild Wars 2. I think what we have found is that we really enjoy playing together as a group, and that has extended beyond SWTOR to other games, making us a growing gaming community.
Where is Methodical located, as in what server type/name and what faction is the guild?
We are on The Swiftsure (US West PVP) on the Republic side.
Why did the guild choose a PVP server? What aspects about a PVP server appeal to the guild?
Coming from a WoW background, our goal was to get on a server that had a strong progression raiding environment. In that game, most of the top servers are PVP servers. There are various theories about why that happened, but in general I think PVP servers tend to attract a more “hardcore” player base, and that translates to high PVE content as well as PVP.
In addition, although we are strongly focused on the PVE side of the game, we have lots of players who enjoy PVP. We feel like SWTOR makes it very easy (maybe too easy) to avoid world PVP, so being on a PVP server has not been an issue for us at all in terms of players who don’t like that aspect of the game.
On Methodical’s website it clearly states you are a high level progression guild. What does the guild define as being high level progression?
For us, being a high-level progression guild is about mindset more than anything else. We expect to complete the hardest Operation content in the game, and we’re always up for a challenge. We spend time preparing outside of Operations by min-maxing our characters, reading up on strats, and working as a team to prepare for our limited raid nights. Because we only raid for 6 hours a week, we don’t necessarily expect to get world first kills, but our goal is always to efficiently clear content in a short amount of time.
Another aspect of the guild is realizing there are things outside of gaming. How does the guild balance high level progression and maintaining a healthy real life?
I’d say Methodical has two approaches to this problem. First, we have very limited scheduled raid times, just 2-3 nights a week for 3 hours at a time. We use that time efficiently. Right now we are clearing the current content in a little over 2 hours, so the rest of our week is free for other games, relaxing, and real life.
The other aspect is that we recruit mature adults who have some balance in their lives, so our culture is not one where people are expected to be online all day, every day. We know that people can play at a high level without spending all of their time online, so we don’t demand that of each other.
Most guilds have a system of leaders and officers to help the guild run smooth. What are some officers or positions in the guild that Methodical uses to help your guild operate better? Can you explain what your Role Officers do and how they help the guild and its members?
The guild structure for Methodical is as follows:
Guild Leader – Carsonlees
DPS Officer/Assistant Guild Leader – Wugan
Healing Officer – Diwata
Tanking Officer – Kihra
Logistics Officer – Marek
Role Officers: The Role Officers (Tank, DPS, and Healing) are there to help facilitate progression raiding. They are experts in their given areas and serve as contact person for all things related to those roles. The role officers help develop strategy and monitor performance in their fields. They also maintain communication with the raiders to make sure we are getting maximum throughput in operations, and work with the Guild Leader to manage recruitment and roster decisions.
Logistics Officer: This officer is in charge of organizing the guild’s crafting and acquiring and storage of raw materials. The Logistics Officer also acts as the master looter, manages our loot system, and helps maintain our website.
All major decisions affecting the guild are made by vote of the Officers and the Guild Leader. In the event of a tie or stalemate on an important decision, the Guild Leader makes the final call.
In researching, I found your Operation guidelines. Can you explain these guidelines? If you had to pick one item in the guidelines, what would be the most important to you and why?
We have Raiding Guidelines, which I think is what you are referring to. The raiding guidelines were based upon the guidelines of my old WoW guild, Lux. We started with those and added things that we felt were important. The basis of the raiding guidelines is again trying to maximize efficiency with a short raid week.
The most important thing for us is preparation in Operations. Preparation is so important to us because of our limited time schedule. We normally raid only two days a week. In order to maximize the potential of these raids we need to be prepared. Being prepared is more than just having consumables. Being prepared means that strategies have been read, questions have been asked, and everyone is clear on their roles. We cannot afford to spend 2 hours of a 3 hour raid night trying to learn as we go. We recruit talented raiders who function well in this environment. – Carsonless
We have talked about the guild’s high level progression Ops. What are some tips to help players/guilds improve their operation skills?
Improving your skill in Operations is probably equal parts preparation outside of the game and practice within the game. Outside of the game, you need to either have the skills to do some theorycrafting on your own, or be willing to understand the theorycrafting of others. In this game, MMO Mechanics is a great resource for most classes. We are working on our own series of guides to help players improve. You can find the first one, about using Ask Mr. Robot and SimulationCraft to min-max your gear, here.
Aside from being prepared in terms have having a proper spec and gear, you need to understand the encounters thoroughly. That is where a lot of work in terms of watching videos and reading strategies comes in.
Once you have the preparation out of the way, you need to execute in game. Part of that comes from practice, just knowing your rotation inside and out so you can focus on the encounter and be aware of what is happening around you. Part of it comes from experience, and knowing to do things like keybinding all your abilities, strafing instead of keyboard turning, and so on. Part of it is just natural ability and good reflexes.
Does the guild utilize the Damage Logs? If yes, how does the guild use that information? If the guild does not use them why…Is it a user-interface issue?
Yes, although we think of them much more as Combat Logs, not just damage logs since they tell us all kinds of things aside from how much damage players are doing. Although our lives would be much easier with raid-wide combat logs, we are able to use a couple different programs to analyze the existing individual logs. Torparse.com is great for looking at the details of an individual log, and DPSmeter.com is great for compiling the logs to get a high level look at the raid as whole.
Probably the most important thing we do with logs is use them to analyze the fight. Kihra, one of our tanks, is really skilled at looking through logs and using them to help us figure out the mechanics of new fights. In addition, logs are great for seeing if players are taking unavoidable damage, using a strange rotation, or forgetting to do things like use a medpac to help out the healers.
The guild has the recruiting philosophy of quality over quantity, with that said is Methodical recruiting? What are the steps for a potential recruit to apply and be considered for membership?
Yes, we are always looking for exceptional applicants who are a great social fit with the guild. For us, an exceptional applicant is a mature person who can write intelligent, well-formed sentences. Someone who has demonstrable experience in a progression raiding environment, and someone that has the competitive mindset required to thrive in a limited-schedule, progression guild. The kind of person that will learn their class inside and out, not so they can brag about big numbers, but so they can help the team succeed on the most difficult content in the game.
We handle all applications through our website at in the recruitment section. If we like what we see, players are brought in as either Trial Raiders if they are interested in becoming a Raider, or a Member if they know an existing Methodical member and are more interested in the social side of the guild.
What is the best way for people seeking more information about the guild Methodical to contact you and the other officers?
We are very active on our website and we have a lot of information there and it is the best place to find us. You can also send a PM to any of us on our site or talk to us on Twitter @MethodicalSWTOR.
Huge thanks to Carsonless, Methodical’s GM, for getting the responses to me. Also thanks for the guild’s Twitter manager, Diwata for helping me setup the guild interview and coordinating emails. I also want to give shout outs to all the entire membership in Methodical. Keep up the great job and all the best in whatever you do.
Does your guild strive to for the highest level of progression or PVP? Let us all hear it! So if are you in a guild or a leader of a guild, why not contact me, so we can share with the community about what you are doing. Just submit your guild’s website and some basic information in an email to me at, email@example.com. Look forward to highlighting more guilds here at Corellian Run Radio. Thanks and see you next week!